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VUX World

VUX World

Author: Kane Simms

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Your detailed guide through the voice-first revolution. Turning you into an epic voice user experience designer, developer or all-round, clued-up voice-head. Whether you're an individual, an agency, a brand or a newbie, we'll help you take advantage of the biggest shift in user behaviour since the smartphone.
44 Episodes
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The latest in voice SEO and discoverability with John Campbell
Discussing the latest insights and research in voice SEO and showing you how you can get discovered on Google Assistant, with the MD of Rabbit and Pork, John Campbell.Where to listenApple podcastsSpotifyYouTubeCastBoxSpreakerTuneInBreakerStitcherPlayerFMiHeartRadioVoice SEOVoice SEO is a roaring-hot topic. All the top marketing and business publications have been writing about the importance of voice searchall year. But, little has been documented on how to actually do anything about it. Until now.John Campbell is the Head of SEO at Roast, London, and has more recently become the founder and MD of a new voice agency, Rabbit and Pork.John's experience in the SEO field is serving him ideally in breaking into the voice assistant space. Through using traditional SEO tools and techniques, John has been experimenting with ways in which brands can be found on voice assistants, and he joins us this week to share what he's learned recently.It'll blow your mind.In this episodeIn this episode, you'll learn some practical tips on what you can do to have your content found on Google Assistant. Using the latest research, data and insights, John takes us through some of the work he's been doing recently and shares the results he's been achieving.Amongst other things, we discuss:Implicit invocationsWhat they are and how they're usedThe benefits of being the implicitly inovocated action, including gaining search volume data and keeping people engagedHow past advice on the web is a little out datedDeveloping a strategy for your own business/skillHow to set up implicit invocations on Google Assistant and Amazon AlexaWhat results can you expect?What the future could hold with implicit invocation rankingHow to find key phrases that people might be voice searchingWe discuss Roast's studies of 10,000 key phrases and discuss the trends in how Google Assistant serves results, including starting to rank actions in search results and serve them as a higher priority that featured snippets. The graph below, for example, shows how, prior to an action existing, Google Assistant wasn't serving a search result at all. Once the action was launched, Google Assistant started sending people to the action, rather than serving nothing.We discuss how you can spot these opportunities and create an action where there isn't currently a Google Assistant search result.Explicit invocationsWhat it is and how it's usedHow you can promote your action or skill, including how to target specific Alexa or Google Assistant owners in online adsHow to measure the success of promotional activityWe also discuss the future of voice SEO and where it's all heading, including skill-to-skill connections and much, much more.LinksVisit the Roast websiteRabbit and Pork website (coming soon)Follow Rabbit and Pork on TwitterFollow John Campbell on Twitter Follow Roast on TwitterCheck out the latest Voice SEO report from Roast
Learn the art of conversation design with Hans Van Dam
A deep dive into the three pillars of conversation design: psychology, technology and creative writing, with Robocopy's Hans Van Dam.Where to listenApple podcastsSpotifyYouTubeCastBoxSpreakerTuneInBreakerStitcherPlayerFMiHeartRadioConversation designConversation design is more than simply putting some words on a page and hoping for the best. The assembly of words is only part of the job of a conversation designer.To design natural conversations that mimic what we're accustomed to having with our fellow homo sapiens, it takes an understanding of the three pillars: psychology, technology and writing.In this episodeThis week, we're joined by Hans Van Dam, founder of conversation design agency, Robocopy, and creator of top conversation design training program, conversationalacademy.com, to be taken through the details of what it takes to design great conversational experiences.Hans takes us through:Why understanding the technology is important. Human and computer brains are different. Appreciating what's different and the constraints you're operating in will help you work within your limits and get the most of of your conversation.Why psychology is key. We discuss things like anchoring, framing, social proof and plenty more psychological tools that can help you improve the user experience and success of your conversations.Why copywriting is all you have and how to make the most of it. We've covered how writing for the screen is different to writing for the ear in our conversation with Oren Jacob of Pullstring. We take that concept further in this episode and discuss some of the mistakes brands make when designing conversation, as well as who should be designing them.We also get into detail on things like the importance persona design, measuring success and a whole host more.LinksVisit the Robocopy websiteCheck out the Conversational AcademyFollow Hans on TwitterNudge by Case Sustein and Richard Thaler on AmazonKurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing Fiction  
The Rundown 003: Increased engagement, Alexa room bookings, skill-to-skill connections, Google Assistant payments and more
Translating the recent happenings in voice news into insights and recommendations for designers, developers and brands. As ever, lots has been occurring recently. In this episode of the rundown, we discuss:The state of voice assistants by Adobe and how we're seeing increased usage in the 'third category'. That is, people are using more in-depth functionality on their voice assistants. That opens doors for richer voice experiences and suggests that customers can handle more complex, transactional interactions.The picture of voice shopping - thanks to Charlie Cadburyfor sharing - and how voice is being used, not just for making transactions, but throughout the purchase journey and after sales as well. This looks at voice commerce in a more broader setting and shows that there's opportunities for brands in and around the shopping experience, not just at the transactional end.Alexa for business room booking and whether the productivity gain will be worth climbing into bed with Amazon.Skill to skill connections and the potential for joining together voice experiences. Whether that'll take-off and whether there'll be opportunities for paid referrals within skills.AVS for Set-Top-Boxes which will allow set-top-box manufacturers to add Alexa to their devices. Another nod to a multi-modal future.Google Home hub launches without a camera and is yet another sign and the screen and voice will play a joint role in the home.Google rolls out payments for Assistant that lets brands and developers offer digital goods for sale on a one time or subscription basis. Monetisation is creeping upon us and with that comes opportunities for those who can find the right voice experience that's worth paying for.Google Sign-in for Assistant which lets customers sign in to third party actions via their Google account. This is the voice equivalent of the 'sign in with Google' or 'sign in with Facebook' that we see on websites and is a great friction-stripping step for voice.Facebook announce Portal and whether it'll ever catch on.If you have a news story you'd like us to cover in the next episode of the Rundown, or if you have a question you'd like Kane and Dustin to answer, hit us up on Twitter, Instagramor get in touch.
VUI design best practice from user testing with 120 brands, with Abhishek Suthan and Dylan Zwick
Pulse Labs founders, Abhishek Suthan and Dylan Zwick share their advice on VUI design best practice that they've learned from conducting voice first usability testing with over 120 brands.Where to listenApple podcastsSpotifyYouTubeCastBoxSpreakerTuneInBreakerStitcherPlayerFMiHeartRadioThe search for VUI design best practiceIn web design, there are standards. Common design patterns and best practice that you'll find on most websites and apps.The burger menu, call to action buttons, a search bar at the top of the page. These have all been tried and tested and are par for the course on most websites.In voice, that best practice is still to be worked out. And today's guests have begun to uncover it.Pulse Labs is a voice first usability testing company. They conduct global remote user research by testing voice experiences for brands. Think of it almost like usertesting.com, but specifically for voice.After working with over 120 brands, the founders; Abhishek Suthan and Dylan Zwick, have stumbled upon some of the most common mistakes that designers and developers make in their Google Assistant Actions and Alexa Skills.Through design iterations and further testing, they've worked out what some of that best practice looks like.In this episodeOver the course of this episode, we hear from Abhishek and Dylan about some of the most common mistakes designers make when it comes to voice user experience design.We discuss how these issues can be fixed, as well as further best practice when designing for voice, including:How to architect your voice app and design flat menusHow to handle errors and recover from failureFraming experiences and handling expectationsWhen to apply confirmations and when to make assumptionsAnd a whole host moreThis episode is one to listen to again and again. No doubt the standards will change as and when the tech advances and usage grows, but for now, this is probably the best start there is in defining best practice in voice.LinksVisit the Pulse Labs websiteEmail Dylan ZwickFollow Pulse Labs on TwitterFollow Dylan on TwitterFollow Pulse Labs on FacebookFollow Pulse Labs on LinkedIn 
The Rundown 002: Big news from Alexa as Google Home Mini becomes top selling smart speaker... and more
It's been a busy few weeks with both of the top two voice assistant platforms announcing new devices and software improvements, but what does it all mean for brands, designers and developers?Google Home Mini becomes top selling smart speakerThat's right, the Google Home Mini smart speaker outsold all other smart speakers in Q2.Google's intense advertising over the summer months looks like it could be starting to pay off. It still isn't the market leader. Amazon still holds that spot, for now.Takeaway:At the beginning of this year, Google Assistant was a nice-to-have feature in your voice strategy. Google's progress over the summer and the recent sales of the Google Home Mini now mean that obtaining a presence on Google Assistant is unavoidable for brands looking to make serious play in this space.We discuss whether you should use a tool like Jovo for developing cross-platform voice experiencesor whether you should build natively.Dustin's pro tip:If you need access to new feature updates as and when they're released, you should build natively. If you're happy to wait, use something like Jovo.Google rumoured to be launching the Google Home HubIt's rumoured that Google will be releasing a smart display to rival the Amazon Echo Show.In the podcast, we said that this will go on sale in October. That's not the case. The actual sale date hasn't been announced yet.Takeaway:With more voice assistants bringing screens into the equation, designing and developing multi modal experiences is going to be an increasing area of opportunity over the next year.Google becomes multi-lingualGoogle announced multi-lingual support for Google Assistant. That means that you can speak to the Assistant in a different language and have it respond back to you in that language without having to change the language settings. This is a great feature for households that speak more than one language.Takeaway:Although this might not be widely used initially, this is a great step forward in providing a frictionless user experience for those who speak more than one language. For brands, this brings the necessity to internationalise your voice experiences closer to home.Check out the podcast we did with Maaike Dufour to learn more about how to transcreate and internationalise your voice experience.Amazon announces about a million Alexa devicesAmazon announced a whole host of Alexa enabled deviceslast week, including:Echo Dot V2 and Echo Plus V2A new Echo Show (with a 10 inch screen)Echo Auto (for the car)Echo Sub (a subwoofer)Fire TV Recast (a TV set top box)An Alexa-injected microwaveA clock, with Alexa built inEcho Input (turns any speaker into a smart speaker)A Ring security cameraA smart plugAn ampTakeaway:These new devices, whether they succeed or fail, present opportunities for brands, designers and developers in that they provide an insight into a user's context. That can help you shape an experience based around that context.For example, you can now target commuters with long form audio through Alexa while they're driving. You can provide micro engagement through Alexa while your customer is cooking their rice.This could be the beginnings of the 'Alexa Everywhere' movement, which will be laden with opportunities for those who seek to understand where users are and what they're seeking to achieve at that time.Alexa Presentation LanguageThe Alexa Presentation Languageallows you to design and develop custom visuals to enhance your user's screen-accompanying Alexa experience.Until now, if you wanted to serve visuals on an Echo Spot or Echo Show, you'd have to use one of 7 design templates. This announcement means that you can create your own designs and even do things like sync visual transitions with audio and, in future, there'll be support for video and HTML 5.Takeaway:As with many of the items in this week's Rundown, there's an increasing emphasis on multi-modal experiences. Over the next year or so, expect more voice + screen devices. This will mean that you'll need to start thinking about how you can add value through visuals as part of your offering.Kane's pro tip:Even though there are more options for voice + screen, still focus on creating voice-first experiences. Don't let the screen take over. Lead with voice and supplement or enhance with visuals.Alexa smart screen and TV device SDKThis announcementenables device manufacturers to create hardware with a screen that runs Alexa. For example, Amazon will announce the details of how Sony have used the SDK to add Alexa capability to their TVs.Takeaway:For hardware brands, you can now add Alexa to your products. For the rest of us, watch this space. This is yet further evidence to suggest that voice + screen experiences are going to be something users come to expect in future.Introducing the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK)ACK allows device manufacturers to add Alexa to their hardwarewithout having to worry about creating a skill or managing cloud services or security.Essentially, you can add an ACK module to your device, connect it to your micro controller and hey presto, you have an Alexa enabled device.It's the same thing Amazon used to build their new microwave.Takeaway:Another opportunity for hardware brands to add value to your product line and another signal that Alexa will potentially be spreading further and wider. If you haven't thought about how this might impact your business and the opportunities you might find in future, this is a good time to start that thought process.Two final Alexa announcements:Whisper mode, which enables a user to whisper at Alexa and it'll whisper back.Hunch, which is Alexa's first move to become proactive in suggesting things you might want to do based on previous behaviour.Takeaway:In unclear whether either of these things require developers to markup their skills for this in any way or whether Alexa will take care of everything for you.Finally, BixbyBixby will be opening up for public Beta in November after a few months in private beta.There was a webinar this week, exclusive to the private beta members, which included a host of announcements. I'm still trying to get hold of the webinar or someone who can shed some light on it and we'll try and bring you further news on this on the next Rundown.
All about Snips with Yann Lachelle
This week, we're speaking to serial entrepreneur, Yann Lachelle, COO at Snips, about the privacy by design alternative to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.Privacy is a hot topic. With the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the introduction of GDPR in Europe, people are becoming more aware and more concerned with how companies are using their data.On the enterprise-side, one of the challenges preventing companies from implementing voice is the apprehension towards sending sensitive data to Amazon or Google.Enter, SnipsThe Paris-based startup is bringing a privacy-first approach to their voice assistant. We speak to Snips' COO Yann Lachelle about the details and how you can use itIn this episodes, we discuss:What Snips is and its position in the marketWhy privacy is a concern for consumers and companiesSnips' approach to voice and privacyEdge computing and how Snips is tackling securityOpen sourcing the backend of the Snips assistantBlockchain and decentralising the voice ecosystemOur guestYann Lachelle is a serial entrepreneur. He's founded and sold several companies and has a 100% record of founding and exiting. Yann's experience in the startup world is vast and his knowledge on AI and the voice industry is more than impressive.As COO of Snips, Yann is helping Snips make technology disappear by bringing to market the world's first privacy-by-design voice assistant.Yann brings us some inspiring stories, intensely relevant insights and plenty of observations that'll help you get a full understanding of what Snips can offer you or your clients.Where to listenApple podcastsSpotifyYouTubeCastBoxSpreakerTuneInBreakerStitcherPlayerFMiHeartRadioLinksVisit the Snips websiteTry Snips for developersJoin the Snips community on DiscordCheck out Snips' whitepaper explaining the details of their blockchain ambitionsFind out more about Snips and blockchain 
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